Pecos County High Point Trip Report

2 miles W Brooks Ranch (spot elevation 5472 ft (5440+ ft))

Date: February 20, 2000
Author: Andy Martin

I decided to get a very early start on this one. After leaving Big Bend on the evening of the 19th, I drove to the Pecos/Brewster county line for a look at the terrain, then headed 6.2 miles further NE on highway 385, where I located a bush camp just west of the highway, in some small trees. I stuck the cot behind a tree to shelter it from the wind, inflated a thermarest to get better insulation than the previous night, wore all my clothes, 2 jackets, and socks. Cold was no longer a problem - in fact I had to shed a jacket that night to stop sweating.

The alarm was set for 4:30 AM (3:30 Tucson time), and 5 AM found me clambering over a rickety barbed wire fence. From here I roughly paralleled the Pecos/Brewster line, heading to spot elevation 4560 just SW of a Tank.

The full moon made going easy, and I followed dirt roads most of the way. From here it is a steep 500' climb up a rocky limestone hill to 5,200+. Dawn was just breaking about now. A fence-line shown on the map is handy for navigation, and is followed to a fence bend at 5440+. Now it was only 1/2 mile to the twin summits.

On reaching them I used a hand level in both directions, but was unable to determine a clear winner. Of course the chill breeze did not encourage painstaking work. In any case, there was a big cairn at spot elevation 5472 (the far summit), and I left a soda can register there. The view to the west was nice, but this was no mountaintop like the previous days' peaks. Add in the 2.5 mile flat bit before you reach the hills, the early start, and this is a county summit for the dedicated few (to put it kindly).

Headed back, and flushed out a big buck near the base of the hill. The long slog back across the plain seemed to take forever, and I was glad to get back to the car 4.5 hours after setting out.

Note: If permission can be arranged from the Brooks Ranch, and they unlock the gate for you, about 5 miles of walking can be eliminated.